Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Saturday Night Links

with 7 comments

* The Guardian has a large special section on SF this weekend, of which the Iain Banks piece I linked yesterday was only a taste.

* Popular in my Facebook newsfeed this weekend: Scientists cure cancer, but not capitalism. (Update: see the comments for some debunking.)

* Another must-read post from zunguzungu about the intergenerational war on higher ed.

Did California college students and parents suddenly and abruptly get exuberantly irrational about higher education starting in 1980? Or did Californians simply pass Proposition 13 in 1978, permanently destroying California’s ability to raise the tax revenues necessary to support itself? I think the latter is actually pretty much the whole story. After 1978, the state’s tax base went down substantially, so less money was available for public universities, and so tuition prices went up. This was the choice that was made, and we are now seeing its completely predictable and rational consequences: to pay for a sizable decrease in property taxes, the state of California has dismantled what was once the greatest and most egalitarian system of public higher education in the world. To put it another way, the price of giving tax breaks to people who are wealthy enough to benefit from lower property taxes has meant that the nearly-free education that primarily poor and middle class families were once able to take advantage of, now, is mostly gone.

* Five signs your Republican governor wants to be president. Early detection is the best protection.

* Disney Trademarks “Seal Team 6.″ This will be adorable.

* And Huck says no. Why, Huck, why?

7 Responses

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  1. I call major bullshit on the “Scientists cure cancer but not capitalism article.” The doctor who found this cure has strongly disavowed any use of it in humans at this point, because it has yet to be tested in humans. http://www.metafilter.com/103466/Canada-Cures-Cancer

    Alex

    May 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

    • I dunno. That random blog I’d never read before seems pretty sure about this.

      gerrycanavan

      May 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    • I’m sure my mom has already ordered a dozen boxes of DCA.

      Alex

      May 15, 2011 at 11:51 am

      • I thought “popular on my Facebook newsfeeed” was sufficently self-debunking for a story about a possible cancer cure, but perhaps I should have been more explicit.

        gerrycanavan

        May 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

      • Sometimes good stories are on my facebook newsfeed. We do have smart friends, after all.

        Alex

        May 15, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  2. A commenter far down in that silly blog post gets at the heart of the issue:

    “The article references [sic] is a very interesting overview of the past research on DCA- showing that it is a promising chemotherapeutic, but also an environmental pollutant (which may actually cause cancer: liver and kidney specifically). There is no treatment that is without risk. And indeed- DCA is not FDA approved, so if a Pharmaceutical Company was successful in getting it approved, it would have exclusive licensing on the sale for several years- thus big Pharma does indeed have an incentive to research this, but it takes time and quite a bit of money. On the other hand, it would certainly be beneficial to the internet purveyors of DCA to make it look like a wunder-drug (yes- spelled with a u intentionally), so that they can sell more DCA. This is not approved as a pharmaceutical, so be careful what you get, since you don’t actually know what other chemicals may be with it.”

    Alex

    May 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm

  3. “And Huck says no”: but his ratings said, “Announce it on your show.”

    Alex

    May 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm


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